Buying At Auction

Step-by-step Buyer’s Guide

Our objective is to make auctions simple and straightforward for both our vendors and buyers.

The first step is Viewing. We strongly recommend viewing lots before the sale and allowing yourself enough time for this. Our viewing times are well publicised and are not restricted to the saleday itself. For most of our sales, entrance is by catalogue only. Each lot is fully described and illustrated online, we also produce a physical catalogue for every sale. You can arrive at a sale without knowing what lots are on offer or there is an option on our website to save the lots you are interested in viewing into a ‘my lots’ folder which can be accessed via your phone or printed. Automobilia lots are generally displayed in lot number order, though larger items will be placed wherever they fit best and small and very valuable items will often be in the cabinets. Our catalogue descriptions for motorcycles and motor cars will advise on available paperwork which should all be viewed before the sale. The office hold a box file for every vehicle and when available a V5/V5c. At all our sales there are plenty of staff on hand, we never use agency staff and all our colleagues have comprehensive training in order to assist our customers’ needs. All enquiries are important to us and we encourage questions about each lot if you are unable to view in person. In this case we’d recommend close inspection of our website images, sending a friend to view for you or a condition report. A Condition Report will include details of any damage or restoration. Each lot to be sold at auction will be illustrated on the website, but should you require alternate views of a particular lot, please let us know. We will need to know the lot number, sale date and the type of image you require. Please make your requests for condition reports or extra images as soon as you can before the view day of the sale, as we will not be able to provide this information on the sale day.

If you find a lot you are interested in bidding on then you will need to Register. Registration forms are at the back of our catalogues or can be downloaded here. Registration is only required if you intend to attend an auction. If you wish to leave bids rather than attending see the next section below. Customers wishing to attend an auction will be asked to register. We will simply require your name and contact details and one photographic form of identification. In exchange we will give you a number paddle. In order to Bid, you simply raise your paddle so the auctioneer can clearly see your bid.

Unable to attend? Customers unable to attend the auction may leave an Absentee Bid with the auctioneer, also known as a Commission Bid. We are happy to undertake to bid on your behalf and purchase the lot as cheaply as possible. Alternatively, if the auction estimate is above £100, we are able to arrange a Telephone Bid for you. Telephone bidding works in a similar way to absentee bidding, a member of our team will telephone you just before your chosen lot comes under the hammer. You will then be able to bid live over the telephone, with the member of staff conveying your bid to the auctioneer. Forms for these methods of bidding can be accessed here. You DO NOT need to register in addition to returning one of these forms to us and there are no charges for this service. Forms can be returned by email, by post or in person. Live Electronic Bidding is available at most of our sales, please check our online catalogue information page for each specific sale for details.

Albion globe

A rare Albion glass petrol pump globe sold for £9,840 (inc. premium), October 2018.

Bentley engine

A vintage W.O. Bentley 3 – litre engine requiring full restoration, sold in October 2017 for £12,000 (inc. premium).